Routes for local authority vehicles including gritters, gully emptiers, refuse collection and waste & recycling are highly complicated, often making multiple passes over the same section of road. These routes require careful planning, not only to guarantee the task in hand is 100% completed, but also to ensure time, commodities, fuel and manpower is not wasted.
Using traditional methods of route planning to overcome these challenges is not easy. Although some local authorities have GIS departments to help design routes, many have been affected by budget cuts, and depleting skillsets mean work needs to be outsourced, resulting in time delays when reacting to last minute changes.
Some local authorities, after growing tired of the limitations of traditional route planning, have adopted web-based route planning software to help digitise their routes. Routes are communicated to drivers via an in-cab navigation system, eliminating the need for a second person in the cab and solving problems such as over and under salting or leaving route decisions in the hands of the driver.
Dynamic route planning
Exactrak’s newly released software, Map-a-Route, allows local authorities to take route digitalisation into their own hands by mapping their own routes to account for real-time changes in weather or road conditions. All route planning is controlled through a user-friendly online portal which remotely manages the local authority’s entire fleet including gritting, gully emptying, refuse collection, and waste & recycling vehicles.
The software provides a full audit trail of new and amended routes which are viewed via an online report. All tracked vehicle data is held in the same web portal for 21 years, eliminating the need for paper records and providing exception reports and alerts for non-compliance against the designated route. The software utilises the newly released OS Master Map Highways Network mapping data, which details attributes such as ‘class of road’, ‘road width’ and ‘typography values’, and contains information on current and future road developments.